Based on two true stories that were blended into one fictional tale, The Encounter by Stephen Arterburn is a beautifully uplifting short story about the healing power of forgiveness. I polished off the entire book in one night because not only was it a quick read at only 140 pages, but the characters' emotions were so realistic that I couldn't bear to put the book down until I knew if and how things were resolved between them.
Abandoned by his mother at age four and adopted at nine, wealthy entrepreneur Jonathan "Gold" Rush has let his resentment toward his mother build up inside of him, causing him a lifetime of hurt that he just can't seem to stop. On the suggestion of his pastor, Jonathan heads to his hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska to hopefully solve the mystery surrounding his abandonment - which would, ideally, heal the emotional hurt he has suffered thus far.
The book's narrative alternates between Jonathan's point of view and that of Ada Guthrie, Jonathan's biological mother, who also still struggles with the decision she made over thirty years ago. As each piece of the puzzle was uncovered, I found myself able to sympathize with both Jonathan and his mother, both of whom need to let go of their hurt once and for all in order to become truly happy. And by the end of the story, I found myself rejoicing at the outcome these two individuals reach.
The Encounter is a beautifully written, uplifting story. If you're looking for the perfect gift this holiday season, "The Encounter" by Stephen Arterburn is a book I highly recommend!
My copy of The Encounter was provided free of charge from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review.